Making of Mark
|Morton, A. Q.
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This seminal work in New Testament scholarship is the culmination of forty years study by A. Q. Morton into authorship attribution. During this time his principal aim has been to establish objectively (i.e., by scientific means) exactly what is the nature of the canonical texts which form the basis of the New Testament - the four Gospels, the Epistles, and Revelations - and also to discover how they came into being. The Making of Mark addresses the historical question of its form - was it produced on a roll or a codex? The answer, suggests Morton, is found in numerical regularity that comprises the divisions within the book. Morton inquires regarding the role of the scribe in the ancient world. What influence did the Jewish-Roman War have upon the production of the book? Morton's hypothesis is that Mark was a book subject to the current means of book production and the circumstances of its time. This makes sense of what has often puzzled earlier commentators. Not only is Morton able to attribute the various sequences of sentences in the four quarters of the Mark codex, he is able to show how 'the medium is the message': that is, how the form of Mark, with its twenty different contributors (according to cusum) governs what is included and where it is inserted: such decisions depend on the form of the book.
"The Making of Mark makes fascinating reading. It renders redundant all previous speculation based on false assumptions about the Gospels' production. It recalls Lewis Wolpert's remark (in The Unnatural Nature of Science) 'The importance of a scientific paper can be measured by the number of previous publications it makes superfluous to read.' Much guesswork and much learned commentary will be rendered superfluous by this work. Theology will go on, and interpretation will go on, but it is clear that we have entered a new era in the field of Christian exegesis." Michael G. Farringdon
"The book contains a wide range of information. On every page there will be found some item of knowledge which is new and interesting. It is that rare book, a book written to enable the reader to base his own opinions on a sound foundation. It is lucid and a delight to read." - J. McLeman
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